FIRST-PERSON: The perils of transgender bathrooms
DALLAS (BP) -- California frequently is on the leading edge of societal trends. Some of these ideas are not worthy of emulation, and we should pray that a bill signed by Gov. Jerry Brown yesterday (Aug. 12) will not take hold nationwide.
WORLD Magazine called it the "transgender bathroom bill." The bill allows transgender students K-12 to choose which restrooms and locker rooms they wish to use and which sports teams they'd like to join based upon their gender identity. Gender identity is not necessarily the gender of your birth but the one you feel the most comfortable in.
Sixteen other states have outlawed what's being called discrimination based upon someone's gender expression. But California now is pushing the concept into schools.
Maybe it's the beautiful weather. Or perhaps it's the Left's euphoria over the demise of Proposition 8, California's law protecting marriage from being expanded to same-sex couples. Or maybe too many California legislators have simply lost it.
There are some obvious problems with this legislation. One senator, Jim Neilson, who voted against the bill, put it mildly when he said, "Elementary and secondary students of California -- our most impressionable, our most vulnerable -- now may be subjected to some very difficult situations." He told WORLD that some parents and students would be "extraordinarily uncomfortable with what this bill would impose upon them."
"Transgendered" is the term used to describe people who are in some way not satisfied with being male or female. This dissatisfaction likely will lead to one or more of a broad spectrum of lifestyles, from cross-dressing to varying degrees of sex changes. Supporters of the bathroom bill say it's needed to protect transgendered students from bullying and abuse.
But this approach will not protect transgendered kids. Rather, it risks severely harming them. It's another measure, in a string of misguided California laws, that serves to lock students into sexual or gender identities they might be struggling with.
California has passed another law that criminalizes psychological counseling to help young people battle homosexual attractions and inclinations. Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, worked hard to oppose that bill.
Now, he has argued, enacting this school law not only will usher in the obvious danger to girls who will find young men present where they are changing and showering but also would hurt those kids truly facing gender disorders.
"To completely truncate the role of psychologists and counselors in this process, much less the rights of parents, is a travesty to the welfare, proper development and possible healing of these young people," Dacus said.
Rather than enable gender identity disorder in a child, Proverbs 22:6 says we should train each child "in the way he should go." Sometimes it is wisest to wait until "he is old" to see the fruit.
Penna Dexter is a conservative activist and frequent panelist on the "Point of View" syndicated radio program. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email (baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).